The role of Smads and their specific ligands during cardiomyogenesis in ES cells was examined. Smad2 was activated bimodally in the early and late phases of cardiac differentiation, whereas Smad1 was activated after the middle phase. Nodal and Cripto were expressed in the early stage and then downregulated, whereas transforming growth factor-β and activin were expressed only in the late phase. Suppression of early Smad2 activation by SB-431542 produced complete inhibition of endodermal and mesodermal induction but augmented neuroectodermal differentiation, followed by poor cardiomyogenesis, whereas inhibition during the late phase alone promoted cardiomyogenesis. Inhibitory effect of Smad2 on cardiomyogenesis in the late phase was mainly mediated by transforming growth factor-β, and inhibition of transforming growth factor-β-mediated Smad2 activation resulted in a greater replicative potential in differentiated cardiac myocytes and enhanced differentiation of nonmyocytes into cardiac myocytes. Thus, endogenous Smad2 activation is indispensable for endodermal and mesodermal induction in the early phase. In the late phase, endogenous transforming growth factor-β negatively regulates cardiomyogenesis through Smad2 activation by modulating proliferation and differentiation of cardiac myocytes.
- Embryonic stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine